In a first for the 3,700-store Dunkin' Donuts chain, franchisees in the Boston area have allocated money from their local media budget to promote iced-coffee beverage Coolatta this summer on a number of New England-themed Web sites. The summer-long campaign, coordinated by Cone Communications, Boston, will seek to drive wired New Englanders into the more than 1,100 area Dunkin' Donuts shops.
The campaign marks the Randolph, Mass.-based company's biggest Internet marketing effort to date. At the suggestion of Cone, the chain opted to eschew building a corporate Web site in favor of an elaborate link of mini promotional sites. "This campaign is really about reach and frequency," said Laura Stanton, director of marketing communications at Dunkin' Donuts. "It gives us an opportunity to expand brand awareness and get in front of a new audience that a corporate Web site wouldn't do for us."
By today, six sites, including the Boston Globe-managed Boston.com, MovieLink, The New York Times on the Web, community sites TheGlobe.com and Tripod, and the Weather Channel's Weather.com, will have constructed and hosted Coolatta sites that include product information, store locators and prize giveaways.
In addition, beginning Monday, Coolatta banners on sites such as Yahoo Boston, Capecod.com, Visitnewengland.com and on the Boston sports pages of CNNSI.com will link refreshment-seekers to a Coolatta.com mini site, hosted on Boston.com.
Coolatta.com will have links to each of the promotional partners' sites.
Though Stanton declined to divulge spending information, industry sources estimate the campaign will cost nearly $200,000.